CAMP ZAMA, Japan – Whereas rising up in Lengthy Island, New York, Benigno Nunez repeatedly witnessed the lethal penalties of medication and extreme alcohol use.
Nunez, now a employees sergeant assigned to the 88th Navy Police Battalion, shared his story with Zama Center Excessive Faculty college students Thursday throughout a Crimson Ribbon Week meeting.
His father’s alcohol use, he started to inform the scholars, led to his dad and mom being divorced and finally his father’s loss of life from cirrhosis of the liver. Nunez’s buddies additionally misplaced family members, together with his pal’s older brother who collapsed and died in Nunez’s entrance yard after the brother was stabbed by a drug seller.
Years later, Nunez mentioned, one other pal of his turned to alcohol after he and his girlfriend ended their relationship.
“He determined that ingesting was the best way out to alleviate his ache,” Nunez mentioned, including his pal was then arrested twice for driving whereas intoxicated. “Sadly, he thought his life was achieved and he determined to take his personal life, due to that.”
Whereas deeply private to share with an viewers, Nunez, who serves as a army police investigator and desk sergeant, mentioned he hoped the real-life tragedies would assist stop college students from enduring related painful experiences.
“Though they did not occur to me, it impacts folks,” he mentioned of the incidents. “You guys have your [whole] life forward you. Do not let medicine and alcohol get the higher of you, as a result of the injury is immeasurable.”
Led by college students within the Nationwide Junior Honor Society, the varsity’s Crimson Ribbon Week additionally had festivities every day to have a good time being drug free. A few of them allowed college students to decorate in costumes, mismatched socks, pajamas, hats and the colour purple to assist get them into the spirit of the week.
Throughout Thursday’s meeting within the college auditorium, college students carried out performances and movies of public service bulletins have been proven to discourage alcohol and drug use.
Nunez additionally spoke to the scholars together with Col. Christopher L. Tomlinson, commander of U.S. Military Garrison Japan.
“Crimson Ribbon Week is a perfect approach for folks and communities to come back collectively and take a stand towards medicine,” Tomlinson mentioned. “It’s a time to indicate your private dedication to a drug-free life-style.”
Celebrated yearly, Crimson Ribbon Week is the nation’s largest and longest-running drug-use prevention marketing campaign that has reached thousands and thousands of individuals around the globe, in accordance with the Nationwide Household Partnership.
The marketing campaign started in 1985 following the homicide of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was tortured and killed by drug traffickers in Mexico earlier that 12 months. The loss of life sparked outrage amongst dad and mom and youth throughout the nation who started to put on purple ribbons to lift consciousness of the destruction attributable to medicine in America, in accordance with the NFP.
“This 12 months’s theme for Crimson Ribbon Week is ‘have a good time life … reside drug free,’” Tomlinson mentioned. “By celebrating life and residing drug free, you might be taking good care of crucial individual in your life and that’s you.”